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Following up on my last post, Angela asked me how I would answer the question; who was the most inspiring person I knew or a most inspring moment of my life. I started just responding to Angela’s question in the comments section, but then got carried away and it turned into a post!

Whether any this is of interest to anyone other than my relatives (which btw takes into account a great number of people:)) here goes.

The answer to that question Angela would have been my father. Both of my parents were an inspiration to me but my father is who I thought of first. He was a simple man with no higher education but his decisions were innately wise.

Looking back at who he was still has me in awe. Right up to the day he was killed in a car accident at the age of 80 years old he worked out 5 or 6 days a week by lifting weights & riding a stationary bike (he actually turned over the 10,000 mile mark on that bike more than once!)

He rarely watched TV and if he did it would never be anything violent — only happy shows — Disney was his favorite but he also liked the Chevy Chase Christmas movies.

In spite of his sweet tooth, he ate very healthy without trying to be healthy — it was just his preferences. He started every morning with a whole grain cereal (slow cooked Red River cereal), he preferred to eat only a salad for one meal of his day and always ate whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and drank tons of water every day. He was an early riser, rarely sleeping in past 5:30 am (I take after him with that one:)).

My dad with 2 of my nieces at his 80th birthday party.

My dad at his 80th birthday party with 2 of my nieces (Becky & Joy).

He never “read up” on being healthy — he just innately make good choices in his life. I honestly never heard him raise his voice in my entire life — not once and the coursest language that I ever heard come out of his mouth when he angered was “. . .so help me Hannah!” and that was usually directed at the frustration of something he was trying to fix or build. He loved music of all varieties (another trait I share) including modern Rock and Hip Hop and Rap and had the greatest most infectious belly laugh you ever heard.

If he wasn’t doing something for his family he was lending a hand helping to someone else who needed it. As a hobby he built things — a house and 2 cottages — all alone (except for the extra hands of my brothers) — the wiring, the plumbing everything. He read his Bible every day and never missed any opportunity to tell us how how much he loved us. His family and his faith were, by far, the most important things in his life.

When we were kids any time my sister and I would argue he would say “girls, girls love one another now . . . boys never fought like that.” It was his way of interupting our pattern and invariably we ended up laughing at him and stopped arguing. It pretty much worked every time.

His most common phrase to me later in life was; “Susan I hope you are taking time to smell the roses on your way to all of your successes” — he would say that to me over and over. It took a while . . . but I think I am finally beginning listen :).

The most inspiring moment of my life would be a tie between the day I met John (we didn’t start dating for almost 10 years after that) and the afternoon I got to spent talking to Coach John Wooden’s at his home.

John, Coach Wooden, myself and Greg Louganis . . . a memorable afternoon!

The most inspiring “famous” person I have ever known would also be a tie between; Coach Wooden and Olympic Diver Greg Louganis. Both wonderful, human beings with an obvious caring for others that makes them stand out as inspiringly unique.

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to share my thoughts about my father with all of you . . . thanks for asking Angela!